Chemical engineering at its surgical best.
Well, the official specialty of the researchers might in fact be distinguished from chemical engineering - but in layman's terms it's truly an act of engineering chemistry. Part of that engineering was of course done by biological evolution, not man. The problem itself is devised by biological evolution, as the sugar fuel is the latter's invention and product.
So call it biochemical engineering
Another salient feature of the announcement is the comparison with re-chargeable
lithium batteries. Is that comparison fair? There is an angle by which it doesn't look like it - but it actually is!
...is, or rather would be... were it not that it is biofuel,
and the introduction of biofuels has connected the markets of food production on the one hand; and of energy or fuel production OTOH --with well-documented damaging effects on the less well-fed among us.
Until worldwide food security, it is irresponsible not to count this aspect as a possible vice of the design.
via +Jim Stuttard
and +Wayne Radinsky